SIU board considers tuition freeze at Edwardsville campus

News-DemocratApril 17, 2014 

— While administrators are asking for a 5-percent increase in tuition, the board of trustees at Southern Illinois University is leaning toward freezing tuition rates at their current rate.

The SIU board of trustees met Thursday in Carbondale, and its Finance Committee voted to recommend no increase in tuition for freshmen entering the university this fall.

At the February meeting, SIUE administrators had requested a 5-percent tuition increase, presuming that state funding remained the same as last year.

Fees also were proposed to increase from 1.4-5.7 percent.

The board also considered a proposal to require engineering students to pay a 15 percent tuition surcharge, which would translate to about $1,094 more per year. The engineering school requires more equipment and technical support than other disciplines, and its faculty tends to have higher salaries, according to university officials.

SIU spokesman Bradley Visintin confirmed that the Finance Committee voted to recommend no tuition increases, and said the fees would be considered at the May board meeting.

Under Illinois' state tuition laws, the tuition rate set when a student enters the university must remain the same for that student's first four years of studies.

Last year, tuition at SIUE increased 5 percent to $7,295 a year. The administration in Edwardsville had requested an increase of 7 percent, while Carbondale administrators requested 5 percent and received 3 percent.

At that time, SIUE continued to maintain the lowest tuition rate among all higher-education universities in the state, and SIUC has the lowest tuition among research universities.

The board will meet for its final decision on May 8 at SIUE.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 618-239-2507.

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